Wednesday, February 21, 2007

unfortunate prescience—the spot that will not out

A little more than 12 hours ago, I was perhaps a bit snide (or “snarky,” as you internutters like to say) about the introduction of chemical weapons—specifically, chlorine gas bombs—into the theater of terror we know as Iraq. I surmised that Tuesday’s chlorine attack was just the beginning, and that when it comes to the Bush Administration’s falsified reasons to invade Iraq, continued US presence in the country has only served to provoke and proliferate horrors that were, in 2003, only figments of the NeoCons fearmongering imaginations.

I just logged on to the New York Times website to discover this story, posted about an hour ago:

BAGHDAD, Feb. 21 — A truck bomb that combined explosives with chlorine gas exploded in Baghdad on Wednesday, and officials said it may represent a new and deadly tactic by insurgents against Iraqi civilians. It was at least the third such attack in a month.

A pickup truck carrying canisters of the gas, which burns the skin and can be fatal after only a few concentrated breaths, exploded near a diesel station in southwestern Baghdad. The explosion killed at least 2 people and sent 32 wheezing, coughing victims to the hospital, Interior Ministry and medical officials said.

It was as if I heard an owl shriek. I got an instant and palpable chill. I am actually sick to my stomach. I find this development very disturbing—it is a genie that is hard to put back in the bottle—and the confirmation of my earlier prediction is not the least bit rewarding.

Reading on in the same story, you will see that another US helicopter has been brought down by ground fire, and that violence continues and continues to evolve. . . not in spite of, but because of the Bush escalation.

Meanwhile, despite the increased military effort, 20 bodies were found Wednesday in the capital, an Interior Ministry official said. In addition to the chlorine attack, four bombs ripped through areas of the city, killing at least six people, while mortars rained down on a Sunni neighborhood of western Baghdad, leaving three people dead.

The most violent explosion occurred at about 5:30 p.m. local time, when an abandoned car exploded in Sadr City, the largest Shiite area of the capital, killing at least 4 people, witnesses said.

It was the second car bomb inside the neighborhood since the Iraqi government announced the start of the security crackdown one week ago. Two others have exploded at checkpoints on its edge.

Fatma Al-Saiedi, 35, who was wounded in the explosion, said the attacks were a result of the new security plan, which has pushed out the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia, and replaced it with what she and some other residents contend are incompetent Iraqi policemen and soldiers.

“We trusted the Mahdi Army,” she said. “The Americans have arrested so many of them and now this happens — every day, another car bomb. We expect there to be more of them.”

This is what the “surge” hath wrought. What hath made Bush drunk hath made them bold. Hark! Peace! Indeed.

(cross-posted over at Daily Kos)


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